ASU's Coyle finds redemption against Illinois
SEP 09, 2012 1:59p ET
In the closing moments of last season’s 17-14 loss in Champaign, Ill., Coyle had a chance to deliver victory and vault the Sun Devils to a 3-0 start. Quarterback Brock Osweiler was supposed to throw an out pattern to get a first down in Illinois territory on a fourth-down play. Instead, Osweiler checked out of that play when he saw Coyle come open downfield with nothing between him and the end zone but grass.
Osweiler’s pass was close -- but not close enough. The ball floated just out of the reach of Coyle’s outstretched arms and fell incomplete, and Illinois had its first win over a top-25 opponent in its last 11 tries.
“I’ve never forgotten that last pass,” Coyle said Saturday after ASU throttled Illinois 45-14 at Sun Devil Stadium. “It was inches away.”
It seemed years away after Coyle hauled in what seems comical to call a career-high 10 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s win. Coyle had 73 career receiving yards entering Saturday’s game -- a total that would have been slightly higher had he hauled in that 2011 pass on a cool night in central Illinois.
“I knew I was going to have to make some plays in this game. I definitely had some payback coming for these guys,” Coyle said. “I think I made up for it by catching everything tonight but one pass that I still should have caught because it touched my hands.”
-- Craig Morgan